Friday, December 23, 2011

The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page

I often read one particular mystery blog and occasionally pick up one of the suggested mysteries. For several weeks prior to Christmas lists of books appeared--the commonality--a connection to Christmas. And that's how I picked up The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page.

The first book in this series dates back to the early '90s; however, it was easy to pick up on the relationships in this her fifteenth or sixteenth book. Faith, a minister's wife, and her husband and two children are on an island , probably Deer Isle, in Maine. Tom, a minister, is recovering from an illness, and instead of being in a pulpit over Christmas he along with his family are staying at their summer vacation home in Maine.

Faith discovers a dead woman in a sleigh. The body isn't of a stranger, but of someone well known to the community of 3000 all year dwellers. I gather that Faith makes a habit of coming across bodies.

A parallel story , which by the end of the book dovetails with the dead woman's story, concerns Miriam and Mary. Miriam is Christopher's mother. Mary , a rather reclusive woman in her early forties tends goats and makes homemade goat cheese and has never married. During the summer she runs a B & B where you not only get a room, but you can also partake of farm-like activities which include taking care of the goats.

Mary discovers that someone has left a newborn wrapped in an afghan in her home. The child's name -- Christopher. The mother also left $50,000 in one hundred dollar bills and a note asking Mary to bring up the child because she's sure that under Mary's charge he'll be a good man.

Faith is able to discover the mother's name and goes to her house, thus becoming embroiled in a rather frightening run in with drug dealers.

All the incidents are rather preposterous, despite this I found myself enjoying the details about Maine. I had visited a numberof the towns mentioned and even eaten at Lily's , the restaurant where Faith met up with the local law enforcement agent.

I expect that most of the other books also have events that strain credibility, but Faith is likable and it is Christmas and I want Miriam to get her life in order, and for Christopher to grow up on the goat farm under Mary's tutelage.

Now if it was possible for the young woman who was found in the sleigh to recover---

I'm pleased that Tom is feeling more like himself and I will try and get to Lily's for breakfast next summer.

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